(518) 346-4436

Prevention Services and Programs

Upcoming Events

Please call 518.382.7838 X 106 for more information on any listing


Friends of Recovery in Schenectady

Next Meeting September 26 at Ellis on McClellan St in the conference room 6 PM to 7:30PM

Come join us and help make a difference for recovery in Schenectady!

Recovery Breakfast Tuesday September 18, 2018 8:00 am to 11:30 Proctors Theatre State St Schenectady, NY

Parenting Program - Starts September 11, 2018  - 5:30 to 7:00 PM  

(6 week program - Active Parenting)

Call 518-382-7838 X 106 or 104 for more information

Friends of Recovery Movie Night October 17, 2018 5:30PM Schenectady County Community College

Join us for the Reversing the Stigma showing and panel of expertise to talk about recovery opportunities in Schenectady, careers in the addiction field, networking and much more!

Youth in Recovery An opportunity for young people to support each other in recovery!

 Reach out to TK: tkrabii95@gmail.com



Schenectady County Substance Abuse Coalition  Quarterly Meetings - Next Meeting TBA

The event will be an opportunity to work on substance abuse prevention for Schenectady County!

Schenectady County Recovery Breakfast - September 11, 2018 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM Proctors Theater

Call Jennifer Hayden at Schenectady County for more information 518.386-2067


Learn More

Prevention Services

Services We Provide:

  • Substance Abuse Prevention Curriculums and Programs
  • Positive Behavioral Health Programs
  • Parent Education & Support Programs
  • In & After School Programs
  • Gambling Abuse / Addiction Awareness & Prevention
  • Suicide Awareness & Prevention
  • Community Coalition Building
  • Community / School Events Participation

Prevention Programs

Sampling of Evidence-Based Programs We Offer

PAX Good Behavior Game ®

A universal program for elementary grades that focuses on activities of engagement, assessment, application and evaluation. These efforts focus on education related to tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs in support of decreasing mental, emotional and behavioral health.

Too Good! ®

Through a variety of positive, age-appropriate activities including games, stories and songs, the program reinforces basic prevention concepts including decision making, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Active Parenting Now ®

Parenting classes that offer new ways to help families connect for prevention. Other topics include step-parenting, divorce, school success, and character education.

Botvin LifeSkills ®

Promotes positive development in addition to helping youth resist drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use. The program also effectively supports the reduction of violence and other high-risk behaviors.

Slick Tracy ®

6th Grade version of Project Northland that utilizes peer leaders, family-friendly comic books, an exciting poster fair, and popular art. The program reflects diversity and depicts realistic situations facing today's youth.


SPORT Prevention Plus Wellness is a program designed to increase fitness, health and performance-enhancing behaviors like physical activity, sports participation, healthy eating, getting adequate sleep, and practicing stress control for youth.


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: www.samhsa.gov

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services:




Partnership for Drug Free America: www.drugfree.org

National Institute on Drug Abuse: www.drugabuse.gov

News / Research

Group of teens

Could your kids be at risk for substance abuse?

Families strive to find the best ways to raise their children to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and others, including the abuse of prescription drugs. Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown the important role that parents play in preventing their children from starting to use drugs.

The following five questions, developed by the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon, highlight parenting skills that are important in preventing the initiation and progression of drug use among youth. For each question, a video clip shows positive and negative examples of the skill, and additional videos and information are provided to help you practice positive parenting skills.

Family checkup logo


  1. Are you able to communicate calmly and clearly with your teenager regarding relationship problems?
  2. Do you encourage positive behaviors in your teenager on a daily basis?
  3. Are you able to negotiate emotional conflicts with your teenager and work toward a solution?
  4. Are you able to calmly set limits when your teenager is defiant or disrespectful? Are you able to set limits on more serious problem behavior such as drug use, if or when it occurs?
  5. Do you monitor your teenager to assure that he or she does not spend too much unsupervised time with peers?

Warning Signs

Many youth may show behaviors in adolescence that are indicative of substance abuse, but can also be considered normal behaviors while growing up. It is important to take notice if there are several signs happening at the same time, if they occur suddenly, and if the behaviors are extreme. The following behaviors in a youth might indicate drug or alcohol abuse:

  • Mood changes (temper flare-ups, irritability, defensiveness)
  • Academic problems (poor attendance, low grades, disciplinary action)
  • Changing friends and a reluctance to have parents/family get to know the new friends
  • A "nothing matters" attitude (lack of involvement in former interests, general low energy)
  • Finding substances (drug or alcohol) in youth’s room or personal effects
  • Physical or mental changes (memory lapses, poor concentration, lack of coordination, slurred speech, etc.)

Warning signs indicate that there may be a problem that should be looked into - not that there is definitely a problem. If there is suspicion that a youth is abusing substances, it is important to first speak with the youth to get a better understanding of the situation. The next step would be to have the youth screened for substance use by a professional (e.g., school counselor, social worker, psychologist). If there is no clear evidence of abuse, families should contact their primary health care physician to rule out a physical problem. If formal intervention is necessary, local substance abuse professionals should be contacted. In addition, it might be helpful to learn more about screening tools, prevention efforts, and treatments.


Vaping popular among teens; opioid misuse at historic lows

NIH’s 2017 Monitoring the Future survey shows both vaping and marijuana are more popular than traditional cigarettes or pain reliever misuse.

Nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report past year use of some kind of vaping device, raising concerns about the impact on their health. What they say is in the device, however, ranges from nicotine, to marijuana, to “just flavoring.” The survey also suggests that use of hookahs and regular cigarettes is declining. These findings come from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders in schools nationwide, reported today by the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, along with scientists from the University of Michigan, who conduct the annual research. The survey asks teens about “any vaping” to measure their use of electronic vaporizers. It is important to note that some research suggests that many teens do not actually know what is in the device they are using, and even if they read the label, not all labeling is consistent or accurate.

The survey shows that 27.8 percent of high school seniors reported “vaping” in the year prior to the survey, which was taken in the beginning of 2017. When asked what they thought was in the mist they inhaled the last time they used the vaping device, 51.8 percent of 12th graders said, “just flavoring,” 32.8 percent said “nicotine,” and 11.1 percent said “marijuana” or “hash oil.” The survey also asks about vaping with specific substances during the past month. Among 12th graders, more than 1 in 10 say they use nicotine, and about 1 in 20 report using marijuana in the device.

Past Month Use

8th Graders

10th Graders

12th graders

Any vaping 6.6 percent 13.1 percent 16.6 percent
Vaping Nicotine 3.5 percent 8.2 percent 11 percent
Vaping Marijuana 1.6 percent 4.3 percent 4.9 percent
Vaping “Just Flavoring” 5.3 percent 9.2 percent 9.7 percent

“We are especially concerned because the survey shows that some of the teens using these devices are first-time nicotine users,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of NIDA. “Recent research suggests that some of them could move on to regular cigarette smoking, so it is critical that we intervene with evidence-based efforts to prevent youth from using these products.”The survey also indicates that while opioid overdose rates remain high among adults, teens are misusing opioid pain medications less frequently than a decade ago, and are at historic lows with some of the commonly used pain medications. For example, past year misuse of the opioid pain reliever Vicodin among high school seniors dropped to its lowest point since the survey began measuring it in 2002, and it is now at just 2 percent. This compares to last year’s 2.9 percent, and reflects a long-term decline from a peak of 10.5 percent in 2003.

In overall pain medication misuse, described as “narcotics other than heroin” in the survey, past year misuse has dropped significantly among 12th graders since its survey peak in 2004 - to 4.2 percent from 9.5 percent. Interestingly, teens also think these drugs are not as easy to get as they used to be. Only 35.8 percent of 12th graders said they were easily available in the 2017 survey, compared to more than 54 percent in 2010.

“The decline in both the misuse and perceived availability of opioid medications may reflect recent public health initiatives to discourage opioid misuse to address this crisis,” added Volkow. “However, with each new class of teens entering the challenging years of middle and high school, we must remain vigilant in our prevention efforts targeting young people, the adults who nurture and influence them, and the health care providers who treat them.”

The 2017 survey also confirms the recent trend that daily marijuana use has become as, or more, popular than daily cigarette smoking among teens, representing a dramatic flip in use between these two drugs since the survey began in 1975. In the past decade, daily marijuana use among 12th graders has remained relatively consistent, but daily cigarette smoking has dropped.

12th graders daily drug activity



Cigarette Smoking 4.2 percent 24.6 percent (1997−highest year)
Marijuana Use 5.9 percent 1.9 percent (1992−lowest year)

When combining responses in all three grades, data suggest past year marijuana use is up slightly to 23.9 percent, from 22.6 percent last year, but similar to 2015 rates (23.7 percent). However, because overall marijuana rates remain stable, researchers continue to carefully monitor any potential trends as they emerge. The survey indicates that significantly fewer teens now disapprove of regular marijuana use, with 64.7 percent of 12th graders voicing disapproval, compared to 68.5 percent last year. The survey reports that high school seniors in states with medical marijuana laws are more likely to have vaped marijuana and consumed marijuana edibles than their counterparts without such laws. For example, survey data suggests that 16.7 percent of 12th graders in states with medical marijuana laws report consuming edibles, compared to 8.3 percent in states without such laws. Inhalant use - the one category of drug use that is typically higher among younger students - is back up to 2015 levels among eighth graders, measured at 4.7 percent, compared to 3.8 percent in 2016. However, rates are still low, showing a significant decline from peak rates in 1995, when 12.8 percent of eighth graders reported using an inhalant to get high in the past year.

Overall, illicit drug use other than marijuana and inhalants, remains the lowest in the history of the survey in all three grades, with 13.3 percent of 12th graders reporting past year use, compared to 9.4 percent of 10th graders and 5.8 percent of eighth graders. These successes underscore the importance of continuing evidence-based prevention programs targeting children approaching their teenage years.

After years of steady decline, binge drinking appears to have leveled off this year, and public health researchers will be closely watching these behaviors in the coming years. However, rates are still down significantly from the survey’s peak years. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a row sometime in the last two weeks.

Binge Drinking


Peak Year of Survey

12th graders 16.6 percent 31.5 percent (1998)
10th graders 9.8 percent 24.1 percent (2000)
8th graders 3.7 percent 13.3 percent (1996)

“While binge drinking among eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students remains well below the levels seen a decade ago, the downward trend in binge drinking appears to have slowed somewhat in recent years,” said George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “This may signal a need for more emphasis on alcohol prevention strategies in this age group.”

Monitoring the Future has been conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor since 1975, expanding the study periodically to include additional grades and topic areas. It is the only large-scale federal government survey that releases findings the same year the data is collected.

Other highlights from the 2017 survey

Illegal and Illicit Drugs

  • Reported heroin and methamphetamine use remain very low among the nation’s teens at less than 0.5 percent in past year measures.
  • Cocaine use remains low in teen students. For example, 12th graders report past year use at 2.7 percent, after a peak of 6.2 percent in 1999.
  • Past year use of anabolic steroids, which peaked at 2.5 percent among the nation’s 12th graders in 2004, is now at 1.1 percent.
  • Past year use of LSD among 12th graders is at 3.3 percent, reflecting a modest but significant increase in the past five years. Use still remains lower compared to its peak in 1996 of 8.8 percent.
  • Past year use of K2/Spice, referred to as “synthetic marijuana” in the survey, was reported at 3.7 percent among 12th graders, down from 11.3 percent five years ago. There was a significant drop in past year use among eighth graders, from 2.7 percent in 2016 to 2 percent this year.

Other Prescription Drugs

  • Reflecting an historic low, high school seniors reported past year misuse of the prescription opioid Oxycontin at 2.7 percent, compared to 5.5 percent at its peak in 2005.
  • Misuse of prescription stimulants, commonly prescribed for ADHD symptoms, is mostly stable compared to last year, with 5.5 percent of 12th graders reporting past year misuse of Adderall. In fact, this represents a significant drop for this age group from five years ago when misuse peaked at 7.6 percent.
  • Past year misuse of the therapeutic stimulant Ritalin among 12th graders is at 1.3 percent, nearly a record low since 2001 when it was first measured at 5.1 percent. There was a significant decline this year among eighth graders’ past year misuse, reported at 0.4 percent in 2017, down from 0.8 percent last year, and significantly down from 2.9 percent in 2001.

Other Tobacco Products

  • Hookah smoking has dropped for the second year in a row with 10.1 percent of seniors reporting past year use compared to 13 percent last year, down from 22.9 percent in 2014. The survey began measuring hookah smoking in 2010.
  • As for little cigars, 13.3 percent of high school seniors say they smoked little cigars in the past year, from a peak of 23.1 percent in 2010, when it was first included in the survey.

Attitudes and Availability

The survey also measures attitudes about drug use, including perceived availability and harmfulness, as well as disapproval of specific drugs. Generally, attitudes grow more favorable towards drug use as teens get older.

  • In 2017, 79.8 percent of eighth graders said they disapprove of regularly vaping nicotine, but that number drops to 71.8 percent among 12th graders.
  • Only 14.1 percent of 12th graders see “great risk” in smoking marijuana occasionally, down from 17.1 percent last year and a staggering drop from 40.6 percent in 1991, but similar to rates when the survey was started in 1975 (18.1 percent).
  • There was a significant change in how eighth graders view K2/Spice (which the survey calls “synthetic marijuana”). In 2017, 23 percent said trying it once or twice would put users at great risk, compared to 27.5 percent in 2016.
  • The survey indicated that 23.3 percent of 10th graders say it is easy to get tranquilizers, up from 20.5 percent last year.

Overall, 43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participated in this year's MTF survey. Since 1975, the survey has measured how teens report their drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Survey participants generally report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Questions are also asked about daily cigarette and marijuana use. NIDA has provided funding for the survey since its inception to a team of investigators at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, currently led by Dr. Richard Miech. MTF is funded under grant number DA001411. Additional information on the MTF Survey can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/MTF.html. The University of Michigan press release can be found at http://monitoringthefuture.org.

MTF is one of three major surveys supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provide data on substance use among youth. The others are the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is the primary source of statistical information on substance use in the U.S. population 12 years of age and older. More information is available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/population-data-nsduh.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, part of HHS's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, is a school–based survey that collects data from students in grades nine–12. The survey includes questions on a wide variety of health-related risk behaviors, including substance abuse. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm. Additionally, the National Youth Tobacco Survey, a school-based survey of U.S. students in grades six–12 conducted by the CDC in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, collects data on the use of multiple tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/surveys/NYTS.

Follow Monitoring the Future 2017 news on Twitter at @NIDANews, or join the conversation by using: #MTF2017. Additional survey results can be found at www.hhs.gov/news. Information on all the surveyed drugs can be found on NIDA's Web site.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at http://www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at http://drugabuse.gov/mediaguide, and its easy-to-read website can be found at http://www.easyread.drugabuse.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.